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So much for rust playing a factor in the game for James, who looked fresh and engaged all night long. This might not be a series where we see a steady ration of explosive plays from James, but he showed Tuesday how he's just as comfortable gradually overwhelming opponents as he is storming through them. James especially seemed to enjoy bullying the Nets in the third quarter to pull away.
It's obvious Wade will need some time to work himself into a familiar rhythm after having eight days off between playoff rounds. But his early production was encouraging. As Wade admitted before Game 1, this series against Brooklyn is going to force him to work extensively on both ends. This was far short of a breakout game, but he picked his spots and added a bit of everything.
Focused. Aggressive. Committed defensively. Those terms all describe Bosh's play in Game 1 against a Nets front line he had struggled against at times during the regular season. When Bosh is attacking the lane and rim as frequently as he's stepping into perimeter jumpers, it generally leads to a highly productive night. This was Bosh's first double-double since a Feb. 23 win against Chicago.
Just when it appeared that Battier had gotten an early start on his retirement, coach Erik Spoelstra reinserted the veteran defender into the starting lineup. Battier played only a couple of minutes in the first-round sweep of Charlotte. But with Miami in need of perimeter length to match up with Brooklyn, Battier responded well. Ray Allen provided the offense with a boost off the bench, as well.
Maybe it was jet lag from flying to Miami directly from Toronto, where the Nets were extended to a seventh game before advancing. But the competitive fire Brooklyn showed in sweeping the Heat 4-0 in the regular season was quickly doused Tuesday. Nets coach Jason Kidd pulled the plug after a 33-point third quarter from Miami.